Südwind's recovery plans

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Südwind Energiesysteme has embarked upon "a two-pronged strategy" of recovery after its brush with bankruptcy last year and subsequent rescue by the Walter Junior concern of Frankfurt. Decentralised turbine manufacture and an export drive are to be the two prongs, says the company's Peter Bosse. A new production facility in Asselner, near Paderborn, will be ready in September with the capacity to build at least 60 S46 750 kW machines a year. The Berlin-based company also intends to be the first wind company to start manufacture of large turbines in North Rhine Westfalia, hoping to derive some benefit from this exclusivity. It is also close to opening a new assembly facility at Dessau to supply wind turbines to Saxony Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. This decentralised production means the company must now consider the future of its Berlin works which is too small to comfortably build the new generation of turbines. "We have spent the last 12 months building up our position again," says Bosse. "Around 60 turbines are now being planned in Germany and the financial strength of our new owner, Junior, is a great help, especially on export projects. Some 40-50 turbines will be delivered to our Indian partner, Suzlon Energy, this year, 16 of which are already underway there, compared with a total of 14 sent last year." In Germany, the first two S46 machines will be installed this month at a site in Brandenburg, Bosse adds, admitting that the financial crisis caused a 12 month delay. The S46 has a standard tower height of 60 metres, but a 74 metre tower will be available in the autumn.

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